Hellenikon, the site of the planned resort, stretches across 6.2 million square metres. Above, Olympic Airways aircraft left stranded on the airport since it was closed down in 2001. Yorgos Karahalis / Reuters
Hellenikon, the site of the planned resort, stretches across 6.2 million square metres. Above, Olympic Airways aircraft left stranded on the airport since it was closed down in 2001. Yorgos Karahalis

Greek experts give go ahead for Dh34bn resort project



Greece welcomed a decision by senior archaeologists to conditionally permit a major tourism project in Athens on Wednesday, saying it cleared the way for the country to turn the site into one of Europe's biggest coastal resorts.

The €8 billion (Dh34.62bn) project to develop the disused Hellenikon airport site, backed by Arabian Gulf and Chinese funds is a key term of Greece's international bailout and is closely watched by its official creditors and potential investors in the crisis-hit country.

The Greek developer Lamda signed a 99-year lease with the state in 2014 for the 1,530 acre area, once the site of Athens airport. But the project has faced delays, partly over a long-running row between developers and those who fear it will destroy the environment and cultural heritage.

After three inconclusive meetings in recent weeks, the Central Archaeological Council (CAC), an advisory body, recommended on Tuesday that about 74 acres of the plot under the project be declared an archaeological site.

"The decision is fine," said the deputy economy minister in charge of investments, Stergios Pitsiorlas. "The fact that a small area is declared of archaeological interest shields the whole process from future litigation."

Mr Pitsiorlas said the recommendation meant that archaeologists will have a closer supervision of construction work.

Lamda submitted its detailed development plan for Hellenikon in July, setting off a licensing process which will wrap up with a decree.

It was not immediately clear how the CAC's recommendation could affect Lamda's construction plan.

Read more:

Greek leader sees bailout exit next year

Greece hoping for continued increase in UAE tourists

Off Hours: Tourism minister is dedicated to Greece

Lamda said it was waiting to be officially notified over the decision before making any comment.

The recommendation is not binding, but the culture ministry always respects the body's decisions.

Greece on Monday overcame another hurdle to the project by winning an appeal over objections by forestry officials.

Hellenikon has become a major political issue in Greece, which is slowly emerging from a multi-year debt crisis. The prime minister Alexis Tsipras, whose leftist party strongly opposed it before coming to power in 2015, is now seen as keen to implement the deal to help boost economic activity and reduce unemployment, the euro zone's highest.

Referring to the council's decision, the deputy foreign minister Yiannis Amanatidis said it was "a complicated process which was resolved in the best possible way".

Neymar's bio

Total club appearances 411

Total goals scored 241

Appearances for Barca 186

Goals scored for Barca 105

Our legal advisor

Ahmad El Sayed is Senior Associate at Charles Russell Speechlys, a law firm headquartered in London with offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong.

Experience: Commercial litigator who has assisted clients with overseas judgments before UAE courts. His specialties are cases related to banking, real estate, shareholder disputes, company liquidations and criminal matters as well as employment related litigation. 

Education: Sagesse University, Beirut, Lebanon, in 2005.

The bio:

Favourite film:

Declan: It was The Commitments but now it’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Heidi: The Long Kiss Goodnight.

Favourite holiday destination:

Declan: Las Vegas but I also love getting home to Ireland and seeing everyone back home.

Heidi: Australia but my dream destination would be to go to Cuba.

Favourite pastime:

Declan: I love brunching and socializing. Just basically having the craic.

Heidi: Paddleboarding and swimming.

Personal motto:

Declan: Take chances.

Heidi: Live, love, laugh and have no regrets.

 

SECRET INVASION

Director: Ali Selim
Stars: Samuel L Jackson, Olivia Coleman, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Emilia Clarke
Rating: 3/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Cheeseburger ingredients

Price for a single burger £0.44
Price for a single bun £0.17
Price for a single cheese slice £0.04
Price for 10g Gherkins is less than £0.01
Price for 10g ketchup is less than £0.01
Price for 10g mustard is less than £0.01
Price for 10g onions is less than £0.01

Total 68p

Credit: Meal Delivery Experts

CONFIRMED LINE-UP

Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan)
Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
Maria Sakkari (Greece)
Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic)
Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)
Jeļena Ostapenko (Latvia)
Liudmila Samsonova
Daria Kasatkina 
Veronika Kudermetova 
Caroline Garcia (France) 
Magda Linette (Poland) 
Sorana Cîrstea (Romania) 
Anastasia Potapova 
Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine)  
Jasmine Paolini (Italy) 
Emma Navarro (USA) 
Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine)
Naomi Osaka (Japan) - wildcard
Emma Raducanu (Great Britain) - wildcard

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Floward
Based: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Founders: Abdulaziz Al Loughani and Mohamed Al Arifi
Sector: E-commerce
Total funding: About $200 million
Investors: Aljazira Capital, Rainwater Partners, STV and Impact46
Number of employees: 1,200

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Favourite book: ‘The Art of Learning’ by Josh Waitzkin

Favourite film: Marvel movies

Favourite parkour spot in Dubai: Residence towers in Jumeirah Beach Residence